10 posts / 0 new
Last post
gregch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 day ago
Joined: 09/11/2004 - 17:20
Posts: 120
Another "recommend me some headphones please" thread
English

Apologies for yet another thread like this.  Thinking about a new pair of headphones.  I already have Audio Technica ATH-M40fs, which I quite like but want a step up in both sound quality and build - they're getting quite old and battle-scarred now.  I also have some BeyerDynamic DT770 Pros - the build is robust but I never quite got on with the sound, just didn't seem very detailed/complete, almost a bit muddy.

I'm after on-ear, closed back headphones. I'd like to use the same ones for listening to music just for enjoyment (both from my iMac and from turntable/stereo), and for studio monitoring (connecting to a pro-standard audio interface, as well as directly to a guitar amp headphone jack).

Music taste is massively varied, including country and classical, huge production 80s rock, metal, electro, punk - you name it.

Equally eclectic shortlist so far:

Audio Technica ATH-M50 - like the sound but not a big leap from the ATH-M40?

AKG K550  -  not had a chance to hear these yet but like the look of them

Bowers & Wilkins P5 - nice build but not sure the sound is up there with this company?

 

All input gratefully received!

 

dalethorn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: 07/12/2011 - 21:10
Posts: 1214
RE: Another "recommend me some headphones please"

Once again, the forum reply dumped my entire reply text with "Comment field required", as though I didn't type anything. Getting to be a bad habit.

The M50 is quite colored, OK for listening on a budget (although way big and not on-ear), but not so good for monitoring.

The B&W P5 is somewhat bland and slightly muddy, and has a soft treble - not good for monitoring, and way over-priced for sound quality.

There's a great review and set of comments for the K550 at headfonia dot com.

The v-moda M80 is nearly ideal for listening and monitoring, having a soft treble like the P5, but better in all other respects. The ATH ESW9a is a good alternative to the M80, having an equally soft treble, but darker signature. I think the M80 would probably be better for monitoring, but the ESW9a better for listening.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

gregch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 day ago
Joined: 09/11/2004 - 17:20
Posts: 120
RE: Another "recommend me some headphones please"

dalethorn wrote:

The M50 is quite colored, OK for listening on a budget (although way big and not on-ear), but not so good for monitoring.

The B&W P5 is somewhat bland and slightly muddy, and has a soft treble - not good for monitoring, and way over-priced for sound quality.

There's a great review and set of comments for the K550 at headfonia dot com.

The v-moda M80 is nearly ideal for listening and monitoring, having a soft treble like the P5, but better in all other respects. The ATH ESW9a is a good alternative to the M80, having an equally soft treble, but darker signature. I think the M80 would probably be better for monitoring, but the ESW9a better for listening.

 

Thanks for this, really interesting.  I've actually seen the M50 used for monitoring in recording studios, but that might be to do with them being relatively inexpensive as much as anything else!  Your comments on the B&Ws are spot on - the build and materials are lovely though!

The K550 had been the one I was most interested in, looks good and great reviews everywhere including our own WHF.  But having had a read through that review and comments, I'm not so sure. So many comments about poor fit and dodgy build quality, channels cutting out and so on. And not sure they'll cope with the variety of music?

The V-moda might be great, but I can't get past how hideous their stuff looks!!    The ESW9a looks to be made of wood, so that's awesome! They do seem pricey though when the K550s are now going for £150 or less. I'd discounted the ESWs as I thought they were intended for portable/iphone use like momentums, but from the reviews I guess the sound of them is great, for general listening although as you say not so much for monitoring. I guess there has to be a compromise if I'm expecting one pair to do both.

 

dalethorn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: 07/12/2011 - 21:10
Posts: 1214
RE: Another "recommend me some headphones please" thread

The ESW9a uses African wood instead of Japanese wood and is only a few more dollars U.S. than the ATH M50.

The vmoda M80 in white (pearl white) is the most beautiful headphone I've ever seen, making the P5 and even the white P3 look cheap when looking at them side by side.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

gregch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 day ago
Joined: 09/11/2004 - 17:20
Posts: 120
RE: Another "recommend me some headphones please" thread

dalethorn wrote:

The ESW9a uses African wood instead of Japanese wood and is only a few more dollars U.S. than the ATH M50.

The vmoda M80 in white (pearl white) is the most beautiful headphone I've ever seen, making the P5 and even the white P3 look cheap when looking at them side by side.

 

That's useful to know... I had a look and they seemed to be more like GBP 300 but maybe I was looking at  the more exotic wood!  I'm still not sure about the looks of either of these, personally, but I'll seek them out and give them a listen.  Incidentally, what's your opinion of the AKG K701?

quadpatch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 28/03/2011 - 19:04
Posts: 881
RE: Another "recommend me some headphones please" thread

I have the AKG Q701 (same as the K701) and it's a very analytical sound. It's fun if you don't mind harsh highs and/or lean bass but it's a sound that I've gone off of the more I listen to other things. I find the K550 like the Q/K701 but the typical AKG sound in a closed back with poor fitting was just nasty to my ears. I gave it a good go and amplified it to hell but I couldn't fix it. Now a lot of people like the K550 so maybe I had an off version, but the poor (loose) fit messing up the seal / isolation is a real issue and you cannot bend the headband to fix it, so I recommend a good listen to it before going for that one. 

Since you find the DT770 Pro bass a bit muddy I would recommend trying to get the pads from the 32 Ohm Limited Edition version and fitting them to yours. The pads are the main difference between the two and to me the sound was quite improved. This would obviously save you a ton of cash, if it works for you. I also suggest looking at the following headphones:

● SoundMAGIC HP100 (possibly the HP200 as well)

● GermanMAESTRO GMP 8.35 D

● Sony MDR1R

● Sennheiser HD600

● Beyerdynamic DT880

● Mad Dog (with new Alpha pads)

The first two have coiled cables, the HP100 one is as least removable but you might have to source a straight one from them because of the locking machanism. The last 3 might be on the pricey side for you, what is your budget btw?

dalethorn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 14 hours ago
Joined: 07/12/2011 - 21:10
Posts: 1214
RE: Another "recommend me some headphones please" thread

Someone gave me an AKG K701 and a similar Audio Technica, but I just gave them away. Either would be a typical old-school audiophile headphone with fairly bright highs and sparse bass. For home listening both would be adequate.

Edit: Shure SRH 940 could be an excellent option - awesome sound, and at worst you can easily tame the brightness using the spare earpad foams.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

gregch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 day ago
Joined: 09/11/2004 - 17:20
Posts: 120
RE: Another "recommend me some headphones please" thread

Interesting...  evidently not a lot of love for AKG out there, despite the good reviews from WHF et al.  Ideally I wanted closed rather than open but had been looking at the K701 (which I guess are open/semi-open?) as having most of the plus points of the K550 but with seemingly better build and comfort. Plus the price you can get them for seems to make them a bit of a bargain.

I'm not keen on massive, unrealistic bass - prefer the 80s vinyl style huge "spacious" production with natural, defined bass. So probably I'm looking for something different to most of today's headphone-buyers, I guess.  Budget is about £150 or so.

datay's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 19/11/2008 - 12:27
Posts: 304
RE: Another "recommend me some headphones please" thread

I have the K701s and it sounds as if they might suit you (they are totally open by the way). Having said that, the two other contributors here are very experienced (and respected) headphone reviewers and they are not wrong about the sound of the K701s. Some music comes through beautifully, but some is just too shrill; you need a good, "warm" source too (as you say, like vinyl). An amp such as the Musical Fidelity M1 HPA would also work well.

I bought them for about £170/180, as you say, looks like a bargain; it's not a bargain if you can't stand them, though.

gregch's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 months 1 day ago
Joined: 09/11/2004 - 17:20
Posts: 120
RE: Another "recommend me some headphones please" thread

datay wrote:
I bought them for about £170/180, as you say, looks like a bargain; it's not a bargain if you can't stand them, though.

 

Very true. But seems like the AKG type of sound might work for me; but if I do go AKG, I can't decide between the K550 and the K701!

 

Log in or register to post comments